Where: Soemadipradja & Taher
"I am working at Soemadipradja & Taher (S&T), one of Indonesia’s leading commercial law firms. Everyone at S&T has been very welcoming. In addition to coffees and lunches, I’ve been taken to the launch of a new bar, drinks by the beach, dinner at a seafood restaurant (with your meal selected fresh from the tank), midnight dessert at an original Dutch colonial building, a wayang puppet show and night market shopping. Office attire is suits (without ties) or traditional batiks. Ties are worn for client meetings. Fridays are batiks or casual.
The greater Jakarta area (Jabodetabek) has a population larger than Australia. Jakarta is a cosmopolitan, diverse and vibrant megacity. With a city this size, as well as a fuel subsidy and an approach where no one walks anywhere, Jakarta macet (traffic jams) are as bad as everyone warned. As with similar cities, extraordinary wealth is juxtaposed with profound poverty. I am living at the Peak Apartment. On site, there’s a restaurant, mini-mart, dry cleaner, gym, basketball and tennis courts, sauna, spa and 50 metre pool. The staff are very friendly and I have slowly adjusted to being politely referred to as “Mr Jared” or “Pak” (sir).
It has been stimulating living in a different cultural context. I have become accustomed to the daily adhan (call to prayer) before sunrise and then throughout the day. While it is possible to both work and live successfully in Jakarta with only English, I have committed to learning Bahasa Indonesia to deepen my relationship with colleagues and clients and enrich my experience. I have two teachers and my private lessons have included everything from visiting the local supermarket through to dialogue about the differences between Australian and Indonesian perspectives on self-determination in West Papua."